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  • RMweb Gold

Was using my Bosch 18v cordless drill on the layout this morning, when smoke and an electrical burning smell emanated from the commutator end of the innards.

 

Not knowing much about the innards of these things, I'm guessing it's 'game over' for this most useful tool?

 

Any advice much appreciated.

 

Thanks.

 

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Smoking is noted as being bad for your health, the same is true for your drill. Time to get a new one. 

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I had this happen many months ago to an 18 volt drill.  I am still able to use the drill for relatively light duties with no further smoking or burning odour.  In the words of Monty Python,  it's not dead yet.

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Probably knackered. Replacements are now so cheap that, if you (mentally) charge your time at any kind of reasonable rate it's probably not even worth taking it for repair, let alone opening it up for a look yourself. 

 

The thing with cordless drill-drivers is that, big ones particularly, produce so much glorious torque, that it's dead easy to overload them on a regular basis without them complaining. At least until something finally haemorrhages and all the magic smoke comes out. 

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Since my drill last smoked and burned with lots of arcing I have used the drill to build four large (up to 1.4 metres) fast electric radio control boats with multiple holes in carbon fibre cloth and plate with the holes ranging from 2.5 mm up to 30 mm.   

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8 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Personally, something electrical, that spins, you hold in your hands within the vicinity of your face - when it breaks replace it, don't try and repair it.

Especially in the "throw away" age where many products are simply not made to repair.

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If the drill is a current model and your batteries are still good then don't forget that most can now be supplied as 'body only' giving a hefty saving on a complete one.  When the batteries die then you can replace or upgrade them.  A bit like triggers broom really.  There are now battery manufacturers supplying replacements for the more common makes which are cheaper than the branded ones.  I have some and have had no problem with them.  Experience based on half a dozen cordless drills at present.

 

Tony Comber

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6 minutes ago, SamThomas said:

Especially in the "throw away" age where many products are simply not made to repair.

That is just one of the reasons.

You have to add in.

1/ No parts available - at least not at a reasonable price. Sometimes the price of a minor part is half or more of a new complete unit.

2/ The buy price is so low, that you can't expect any one to repair it, even at low pay rates.

3/ Even under warranty repairs often don't happen. They just give you a replacement, with the old warranty expiry date still applicable.

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Just now, shipbadger said:

If the drill is a current model and your batteries are still good then don't forget that most can now be supplied as 'body only' giving a hefty saving on a complete one.  When the batteries die then you can replace or upgrade them.  A bit like triggers broom really.  There are now battery manufacturers supplying replacements for the more common makes which are cheaper than the branded ones.  I have some and have had no problem with them.  Experience based on half a dozen cordless drills at present.

 

Tony Comber

I have a Ryobi cordless drill with 2 batteries from new.

 

After about 4 years one just refused to work, despite a multimeter suggesting that the battery is fully charged. The drill refuses to acknowledge it.

Tried some hints from You Tube etc, with no luck.

 

After about a month, the other battery refused to charge, don't know why, not worth messing about with the meter, given lack of progress with the other.

 

A new battery and no problem.

 

 

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16 hours ago, AY Mod said:

It doesn't sound, or smell, good Tim.

 

If you are replacing it I can recommend this https://www.screwfix.com/p/mac-allister-msdd18-li-2-18v-1-5ah-li-ion-cordless-drill-driver/873fx - after a couple of months reasonable usage I've only had to swap the battery over for the first time today. Gutsy but light.

Thanks for that tip, Andy and also everyone else who has commented or offered suggestions.

 

The above clinches a trip to Screwfix, then, as I have also to try to obtain a rather unusual LED bulb for one of CTMK's lamps.

 

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One of the advantages of Ryobi (although others are starting to copy/follow suit),

is that they have a one battery system, all the batteries fit all their cordless tools,

they also sell some tools without batteries.

It means you'll always have a charged battery, but it's only really viable if you need,

and use, multiple, cordless tools, but they (Ryobi) do quite a range, including sander,

hot glue gun, jig-saw, vacuum, nail-gun/stapler, multi-tool, radio, etc!

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46 minutes ago, kevinlms said:

I have a Ryobi cordless drill with 2 batteries from new.

 

After about 4 years one just refused to work, despite a multimeter suggesting that the battery is fully charged. The drill refuses to acknowledge it.

Tried some hints from You Tube etc, with no luck.

 

After about a month, the other battery refused to charge, don't know why, not worth messing about with the meter, given lack of progress with the other.

 

A new battery and no problem.

 

 

Sounds like there's a charge cycle counter built in to the battery <sigh>

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Personally I've been using one of these on an intermittent basis, works 100% fine for light DIY/ layout construction, pleasantly surprised by the battery shelf life. I can leave it unused for months and it still retains a decent charge when I come to use it again.

 

https://www.robertdyas.co.uk/pro-craft-18v-li-ion-cordless-drill-driver-with-13-piece-accessory-kit-and-2-batteries-blue-black?gclid=Cj0KCQjwraqHBhDsARIsAKuGZeHmdW_nKZmmoRlglK1Odp8eJ7gMJ9kQ49a6Ms13FKA3iwSR0vZs8_YaAt4FEALw_wcB

 

Near enough identical ones available from a multitude of sources at various prices.

 

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One common cause of a smoking drill can be from stopping the drill to soon after use, if the drill is air cooled (it blows air when running) then when under load it dissipates the heat by blowing air through the motor, the heat can still be there after the load is removed from the drill, always run the drill for a short time after drilling to clear any heat build up.

Frustratingly batteries are not interchangeable between brands, not even when different brands are the same company such  as DeWalt-Stanley or Milwaukee-Ryobi but the batteries and tools are almost always fully interchangeable within a brand, so once you’ve purchased your initial set you then only need to purchase bare units and batteries individually. 
Think very carefully about which brand to go with, price is only one factor, range of tools and batteries, local availability are others.

 

Brian.

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When any electrical appliance stats to give off burning insulation smells that is bad news as it probably means that insulation is melting because of extreme heating, and when it gets to smoking it will be terminal as electrical appliances, other than smoke units, aren't meant to do that, battery powered or not.

 

I'm still using a Black & Decker mains powered drill from the early 1980s. B&D used to have a network of service centres where you could get them repaired or buy spares - very useful. The bearings are going but it still works well enough. But nowadays getting stuff like that repaired is almost impossible. They're frequently made in China and the UK agents/importers/"manufacturers" seem totally uninterested in offering any sort of repair service, possibly because disassembly and then reassembly isn't possible because of the sorts of fixings used to hold it together. Also the labour charges for the time needed to repair things plus the availability ( or lack therof) and cost of any spares invariably makes it cheaper to buy a new one. 

 

Out of curiosity,  I had a look at the Bosch website as we have several Bosch battery powered tools, and it doesn't seem to have any support pages offering any sort of repair process.

 

So like almost all of today's electrical appliances, when it gives up the ghost, as yours plainly has, all you can do is dig out the information on how to recycle electrical equipment and follow that.

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Seems wrong to throw things away, when the older Ni Cad batteries in my Makita drill started to fad it was cheaper to buy a whole new drill than a replacement battery, maybe the new right to repair laws will help.

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38 minutes ago, fulton said:

Seems wrong to throw things away, when the older Ni Cad batteries in my Makita drill started to fad it was cheaper to buy a whole new drill than a replacement battery, maybe the new right to repair laws will help.

Those laws will still only apply for tools up to a certain age. If it applied for ever, for a cheap tool, then the cheap tools will disappear off the market and only expensive ones for sale.

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1 hour ago, turbos said:

One common cause of a smoking drill can be from stopping the drill to soon after use, if the drill is air cooled (it blows air when running) then when under load it dissipates the heat by blowing air through the motor, the heat can still be there after the load is removed from the drill, always run the drill for a short time after drilling to clear any heat build up.

Frustratingly batteries are not interchangeable between brands, not even when different brands are the same company such  as DeWalt-Stanley or Milwaukee-Ryobi but the batteries and tools are almost always fully interchangeable within a brand, so once you’ve purchased your initial set you then only need to purchase bare units and batteries individually. 
Think very carefully about which brand to go with, price is only one factor, range of tools and batteries, local availability are others.

 

Brian.

I came across a professional plasterer.

He was telling me that now for each new large job he does, he buys a cheapie sander. He reckons it works out far better value, than buying an expensive one and have it stolen at a building site.

No one steals the cheap ones and if the cheap one stops working, off he goes and buys another.

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1 hour ago, spamcan61 said:

Sounds like there's a charge cycle counter built in to the battery <sigh>

I don't think so, because the 2 batteries were of different sizes and I almost always used the larger one. The larger one died first & not longer after the smaller one. It had only done a fraction of the work of the larger one.

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